President and CEO of Medicenna Therapeutics Corp., Dr. Fahar Merchant, is Featured on The Stock Day Podcast
Phoenix, Arizona--(Newsfile Corp. - January 21, 2020) - The Stock Day Podcast welcomed Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (TSX: MDNA) (OTCQB: MDNAF) ("the Company"), a clinical stage immunotherapy company focused on oncology and the development and commercialization of novel, highly selective versions of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-13 Superkines and first in class Empowered Cytokines™ (ECs) for the treatment of a broad range of cancers. CEO and President of the Company, Dr. Fahar Merchant, joined Stock Day host Everett Jolly.
Dr. Merchant began the interview by providing background information about the Company. "Medicenna is very focused in the oncology space. We are developing a really exciting, new kind of therapy around interleukins," explained Dr. Merchant. "These are very special molecules that target tumors and are also able to stimulate the immune system," said Dr. Merchant.
"We've got a program that has just completed a Phase 2b clinical trial for recurrent glioblastoma," he added, noting that this condition represents the most aggressive form of brain cancer with very few treatment options available. This is the same brain cancer that claimed the life of Senator John McCain.
Jolly then asked about the details of the MDNA55 clinical trial. "The patients that we treated in this clinical trial were patients that had already been through surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy - they had essentially failed these three therapies and the tumor came back," explained Dr. Merchant. "The therapies that are currently available at recurrence will extend the survival of these patients to perhaps 6 to 8 months post-treatment," continued Dr. Merchant. "For the first time we are able to show that with a single treatment of MDNA55 the median survival in the patients treated was extended to 15 months," shared Dr. Merchant. "We're doubling the survival in this patient population, which is something that has not happened in the past two decades."
"What are the next steps for MDNA55?" asked Jolly. "We have data now in 118 patients so far," said Dr. Merchant. "The drug has already received orphan drug designation from the FDA and the European regulators as well," he explained. "The drug has also been granted fast-track designation," said Dr. Merchant, adding that these factors will help the Company expedite the drug to the marketplace.
"As a company, we feel that the upcoming End of Phase 2 meeting with the US FDA will set the stage to enter into a transaction with a Pharma company that has the wherewithal for distribution, marketing, and sales globally," explained Dr. Merchant.
"Do you have a timespan for that?" asked Jolly. Dr. Merchant shared that the Company hopes to meet with the FDA in the second quarter of this year, and given a positive outcome will begin searching for a regional or global partner.
Jolly then commented on the growing interest in the oncology industry, and mentioned Sanofi's acquisition of Synthorx for $2.5 billion. Dr. Merchant explained that Synthorx had not yet completed a Phase I clinical trial for a treatment using their interleukin 2 (IL-2) asset prior to the acquisition. "What we have done at Medicenna is essentially taken native IL-2 and engineered it so that it is not only safer than the original IL-2, but is even more potent," said Dr. Merchant. "On the back of this $2.5 billion acquisition by Sanofi, we feel that there is a lot of opportunity for us to partner with another big Pharma company as we move our molecule, MDNA19 towards the clinic in 2021," shared Dr. Merchant.
To close the interview, Dr. Merchant expressed his excitement for the Company's advancements over the next few months, including their meeting with the FDA. "That could trigger a number of potential activities - could be an acquisition, approval of the drug, or a partnership," said Dr. Merchant. "This year looks very exciting for Medicenna. We have achieved key milestones in 2019 and there are additional major milestones coming up around the corner," closed Dr. Merchant.
To hear Dr. Fahar Merchant's entire interview, follow the link to the podcast here: https://audioboom.com/posts/7483867-president-and-ceo-of-medicenna-therapeutics-corp-dr-fahar-merchant-is-featured-on-the-stock-d
About Medicenna Therapeutics Corp.
Medicenna is a clinical stage immunotherapy company focused on oncology and the development and commercialization of novel, highly selective versions of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-13 Superkines and first in class Empowered Cytokines™ (ECs) for the treatment of a broad range of cancers. Supported by a US$14.1M non-dilutive grant from CPRIT (Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas), Medicenna's lead IL4-EC, MDNA55, has completed enrolling patients in a Phase 2b clinical trial for rGBM, the most common and uniformly fatal form of brain cancer, at top-ranked brain cancer centres in the US. MDNA55 has been studied in five clinical trials involving 132 patients, including 112 adults with rGBM. MDNA55 has demonstrated compelling efficacy and has obtained Fast-Track and Orphan Drug status from the FDA and FDA/EMA respectively. For more information, please visit www.medicenna.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the future operations of the Company and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as "will", "may", "should", "anticipate", "expects" and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, that the upcoming End of Phase 2 meeting with the US FDA will set the stage to enter into a transaction with a Pharma company, that the Company will meet with the FDA in the second quarter of this year, that there is a lot of opportunity for the Company to partner its IL2 asset with another big Pharma company, that MDNA19 will move towards the clinic in 2021, that the End of Phase 2 meeting could trigger a number of potential activities including an acquisition, approval of the drug, or a partnership, that 2020 will be very exciting for Medicenna, and the future plans and objectives of the Company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include the risks detailed in the annual information form of the Company dated June 24, 2019 and in other filings made by the Company with the applicable securities regulators from time to time.
The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information (including, without limitation, the ability of the Company to fully replicate these interim data results) may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements only as expressly required by Canadian securities law.
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